By Mike Augustyniak

Every Friday, Mike Augustyniak is picking up a new cocktail recipe from a local mixologist. However, for a change of pace this week, Mike thought he would share one of his favorite things to make for himself in recent months. It’s a refreshing, fruity spin on the classic mojito.

3 Fresh Strawberries (remove the stems & hulls)
5 Mint leaves
1 tsp. simple syrup
2 oz rum (Appleton is recommended, but any will do)
Ground pepper
Ginger beer (I prefer Gosling’s)

Muddle 3 strawberries, 5 mint leaves, and a pinch of ground pepper in the bottom of a highball glass. Put ice in the glass. Add a teaspoon of simple syrup, 2 oz. of rum, and top with a splash of ginger beer. Stir well to distribute strawberries and mint leaves throughout the drink. Enjoy!

Taste Test
I originally found this recipe in the New York Times Magazine “What I’m Drinking Now” column by Mario Batali. Sure, this is more of a summer drink, when fresh strawberries can be taken right out of the garden and put into your glass. But if you’re dreaming of summer as the snow is starting to fall … this drink will bring you back to June. The mint leaves I use are from my parents’ garden in New York, so they’ve been in the freezer since the summer; I don’t even thaw them out before I use them. For a twist on this one, substitute a splash of lemonade for the ginger beer!

To find more recipes from Mike’s Mix, click here.

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